Theatre of Death
I'm back! And sorry for the wait! Also, this is just a heads-up, but a few of the songs in this story are songs by Enya. You can listen to one of the songs on my blog which link is on my profile. And if you wished to listen to the other songs, I think Youtube had the music videos of the songs.
Disclaimer: Part of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Twelve: Theatre of Death
It was late at night, and the streets of the town of Eiraka were deathly silent. And the only lights in the streets that could be found are the street lamps.
And one Namikaze Shiki could be found standing atop a tree branch on some tree outside a modest looking house in the town of Eiraka, her arms folded across her chest, not taking her eyes off the lone figure that she could see sitting before the sleek black piano in what seemed to be the dining room of the house.
This particular house is the only one in five miles in any given direction which lights are still on. And there is an extremely good reason why Shiki is currently standing outside the house in some tree, watching the occupant like a hawk would a tasty morsel.
Two weeks ago, Ragnarok had received another revenge request.
Nothing very strange and out of the ordinary, right?
But this particular client had all of Ragnarok concerned especially since their client wants two people taken out. Having two people whom one hated enough to want to kill them isn't a request that they received every day, and thus, Shiki had gone to watch the client personally.
That had been two weeks ago, and now, Shino, Neji and Gaara have just about attained enough intelligence and information on the client from his reasons to why he just want those particular two dead, having attained information which listed his entire history, his background to what he is like from the present all the way to when he was a toddler.
And it concerns Shiki.
The man – Iesugawa Shuu is the band manager of one of the bands belonging to an extremely famous and influential theatre group. His lifestyle is extremely modest, and he doesn't really stand out much. And those two that he wanted taken out are band members of the band that he served as manager.
But one thing of importance that Shino had found out is that the lead singer of their band – Ishigawa Keiko died three months ago in a freak accident, and right after that, the band seemed to have an internal struggle. As unlike most bands, that particular band doesn't have any backup singers. And it is only through some extremely hard investigation and work that Neji found out that the two whom Shuu wanted taken out both have something to do with Keiko's death. But no matter what it is, it is a fact that Keiko's death is an accident. An accident that might be caused by those two, but still an accident.
That is why all of Ragnarok are rather hesitant at accepting this particular request. Even Shiki is concerned about it. They do have their own code to follow, after all.
Gaara appeared on the tree branch beside Shiki just then, looking at her with concern. "We have some news," he said. "Neji had just found out that the bands of the theatre group will be having a two week training camp of some sort at an island that is owned by the owner of the theatre group. A few other bands outside the theatre group will be joining them as well."
Shiki nodded, but didn't take her eyes off Iesugawa Shuu for several moments before she made up her mind and turned back towards Gaara. "We won't be taking this request," she said simply, and Gaara nodded his head. He had a suspicion that that will be Shiki's decision as all of Ragnarok are pretty uneasy about this request. No one wanted to be the one responsible to stain their hands with the blood of innocents. "But—"
Gaara raised an eyebrow as Shiki sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose to lessen her headache before she turned back towards Gaara, a serious look in her eyes. "I'm going to need Shino to make us as a make believe band from some overseas boarding school and enter us into the records of the Twilight Theatre Group." Gaara raised an eyebrow, and Shiki sighed. "We may not be taking on the request, but I won't just stand by and watch as two innocents are killed." She turned back towards the form of Iesugawa Shuu in the house itself, her eyes darkening considerably as she clenched her hands into fists by her sides. "I can't ignore this. That guy…he has the eyes of someone consumed by revenge."
ANBU HeadquartersLeaf City
"What performance?" Konan was asking early the next morning as the entire Akatsuki walked into the meeting room where they would be having their usual monthly meeting with Tsunade.
Deidara was looking rather sheepish as he answered. "It's the band that I'm with," he explained.
Despite being an ANBU, Deidara is a guitarist with a band who served with the Twilight Theatre Group. He often managed to get show tickets for his teammates in the ANBU which is nearly impossible to attain.
"And?" Sasori drawled, settling down into his seat.
"We're going to have a training camp about two weeks from now at some theatre house on an island that is supposedly owned by the owner of the theatre group." Deidara explained. "We're allowed to bring guests, and there will also be a performance on the last day of the camp. Can you guys come? I have tickets for you guys. Please?" Deidara clasped both his hands together.
The rest of Akatsuki exchanged amused glances. Because they are Deidara's teammates, they have been to his performances more than once. His band – Firefly usually plays new rock, but they do play other songs as well. And they're extremely popular, with the girls especially. And whenever Deidara went out into public whenever he's not on missions, he has to wear a baseball cap from back to front if he does not wish to get mobbed by fans.
"I'm alright with it," said Itachi with a shrug. It will probably do him some good to get a break every once in awhile especially since he had been on the go ever since Orochimaru had turned up dead over three months ago. "That is if Tsunade-sama allows ALL of us to go on unpaid leave for two weeks, Deidara." Itachi added, and Deidara's face fell.
Anyone with even half a brain will know without even asking that Tsunade will never allow all the members of her best ANBU team to go on unpaid leave at the same time for two whole weeks. She might allow Deidara as she knew that the civilian population will probably skin her alive if Firefly is missing their best guitarist for their performances, but she definitely won't allow the rest of them.
"That's impossible, Itachi." Deidara whined.
Konan laughed. "Well, there is no harm in asking," she mused. "Heavens knows that we all need a break especially since we've been dealing with the aftermath that came after Orochimaru's death."
All of Akatsuki sighed. All of them have been working overtime for weeks just to deal with the aftermath. The riot that nearly broke out when they've announced Orochimaru's death even had them arresting several people who had nearly thrashed the place where Orochimaru is buried.
Even now, Itachi is fairly sure that people are still desecrating his grave, not that he was surprised. After Orochimaru's gravestone was destroyed for the fifth time, Tsunade finally gave up and erected a gravestone which read: 'Here lies a traitor and defiler of mankind.' And it is then that the attacks stopped.
All conversation stopped immediately when Tsunade entered the meeting room, nodding to the Akatsuki before settling down into her seat.
"I have a new case for the Akatsuki to handle," said Tsunade briskly, and all of Deidara's hopes were immediately dashed. If there is a new case, it'll be next to impossible even for him to get unpaid leave. They are short on people who can handle the assignments like the ones that Akatsuki are getting assigned to as it is.
"What case?" asked Sasori.
"This time, the case is a threat to a theatre group," said Tsunade briskly before everyone opened the folders before them, and the brows of everyone rose as they recognised the name of that particular theatre group. "The Twilight Theatre Group." Honey brown eyes glanced at everyone present, particularly on Deidara. "About a week ago, the band Storm of Fire received a threatening letter."
Everyone present flipped over their folders to where a copy of the letter was attached.
"'When the last curtain falls, so will the performance. The role of Siren Singer belongs to no other but one'." Tsunade recited the contents of the letter. "It is signed by a person that called himself 'Phantom'."
"Siren Singer?" Nagato echoed. "What is that?"
Deidara sighed. "It is the name that is given to the lead singer of the Storm of Fire," he explained. "They're an extremely popular band that specialises in new classical, pop and rock music. They've been ranked number one in the music charts for that category for the past two years ever since their establishment until their lead singer, Ishigawa Keiko died in an accident during a rehearsal three months ago. Official records stated that she fell to her death because of the darkness of the theatre, but there are some that believed that the accident was planned. Ever since then, I've heard from others in the music industry that the remaining band members have been fighting over who get to replace Keiko-san as the lead singer, the Siren Singer."
Tsunade nodded. "I would like for all of you to go undercover to investigate," she said. "And fortunately for you, you wouldn't need to pose as a band of some sort which might turn out disastrous. Deidara, your band is participating in the camp, isn't it?" Deidara nodded. "Good. You can take the rest of your team as your guests. I know that your band knew that you are all ANBU agents, but I hope that I can trust them to hold their tongues."
Deidara gulped. "They won't say a word." He assured Tsunade.
"There are a total of eight bands that will be participating in this camp," said Tsunade, giving Itachi a folder which he opened with a frown. "Five are bands belonging to the Twilight Theatre Group. But the remaining two are bands that are invited from elsewhere. Among all these people, one of them must be the Phantom. Find him or her!"
One Week LaterHiraiko
"You're going away again?" asked Shiki with a roll of her eyes as she walked along the beach with Itachi that night at Hiraiko. "Why am I not surprised?"
Itachi looked sheepish. "Sorry," he apologised. "But it is work, unfortunately. I'll be gone for about two weeks."
Shiki sighed. "Well, maybe it's good that you chose this time to leave," she muttered. "I'll be away for about two weeks as well."
"Well, then this is an early birthday present, I guess," said Itachi before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a red and blue thread-woven tribal-like bracelet that seemed to be handmade. "I had it made awhile back for your birthday. It is in another three weeks, isn't it?"
"Yes," said Shiki with a nod. "I'm surprised that you remembered."
"I wouldn't forget my own friend's birthday," said Itachi before placing the bracelet around Shiki's right wrist. "It kind of suits you."
Shiki smiled lightly as she looked at the bracelet around her wrist. "You think?" she said with a light laugh before her cellphone starting ringing, and she answered the call. "Hello?" Shiki frowned lightly. "Alright. I'll be right back." She then slipped her phone back into her pocket and turned back towards Itachi apologetically. "Sorry. I have to go."
Itachi nodded before Shiki turned and left the beach to who-knows-where. Itachi then sighed and looked at his watch as it is nearly time for him to leave as well. With a sigh, he left the beach and towards where he had parked his motorcycle.
He was about to get on when he noticed a silver-haired teen eyeing him from behind, and Itachi turned with a frown, ready to defend himself if necessary if this guy did something stupid like trying to rob him for instance.
The guy smirked. "Do you know about Namikaze Shiki's true identity?" he asked, and Itachi stared blankly.
One Week LaterTwilight Isle
"It's big," said Hinata, her eyes wide as she took a quick look around her at the island that they have just gotten to via one of the ships that belonged to the owner of the island to take the visitors to the island.
There is a large theatre meant for rehearsing and performances somewhere in the middle of the island, and there is also a dormitory building where they would be living in for two weeks as well as another building for recreation activities like a cafeteria as well as a billiard room. There is also a small beach where they could take a quick swim if they wished to.
The rooms of the dormitories would be shared with two to a room, and Shiki would be sharing with Hinata. Their 'band' which they have decided to use the name of Maelstrom is the first to arrive, and they have used the time to explore properly just in case.
And fortunately for them, all of Ragnarok are actually well accustomed to performing in a 'band' of some sort as this is what they did to earn some money sometimes by acting as a performing group. Each of them loves music as music soothes the soul, and they each have an instrument which they could play like a professional.
Hinata and Haku with the flute, though for the duration of this camp, they would be the singers along with Shiki unless the situation calls for it. Kankuro with the drums and Neji with the guitar. Shino with the electronic keyboard. He is about the only one in Ragnarok who can play it, though to be fair, Shiki is the one who had taught him how to play the keyboard, and the girl would have been the keyboardist if they didn't need her to sing. Tenten with the xylophone or the sitar, whichever that they requires her to be. Gaara being the other guitarist with Yugito playing the violin and Temari on the saxophone.
There are a wide number of songs that they all knew by heart by now, and as only the best of the best are invited here, all of them have to make sure that they have to be nearly professionals at their individual instruments. And as such, it didn't seem to take long before it is nearly time for lunch, and Ragnarok have to meet the other bands.
The owner of the island – Ishigaya Taro gave the welcoming speech first of all before announcing the bands and the people that are present at the camp, alongside the guests.
Storm of Fire are there, obviously, and none of them looked very happy.
Firefly too which Shiki isn't too surprised at.
Forever as well as Beyond being the only two known bands that often did co-acts together.
Salutations being the only other 'outsider' band.
And of course there is Maelstrom.
And it is whilst Shiki was looking around at all the people when she froze as she caught sight of a particular group and a particular face who looked equally startled to see her. Shiki stared unblinkingly, wondering what kind of situation they had just landed themselves into as one Uchiha Itachi stared right back at her.
'What is he doing here?!'
Konan and Nagato's RoomDormitory Building
"I guess that concludes all the people that are currently present," mused Nagato as they pored over all the cards that Konan had made which represented each person currently present in the camp, being placed over the surface of a board. "We're going to have our work cut out for us."
"Deidara, what do you know about the two bands that are not part of Twilight?" asked Kisame, turning towards the blonde in their midst.
"Not a lot, I'm afraid," said Deidara sheepishly. "Salutations is a pretty excellent band, and the members came from River High School, a school famous for their talents in music and sports. As for Maelstrom…I'm not sure, but I think that some musician saw their talent as a performing group some years back and groomed them as musicians. They're pretty good from what I heard."
"I see," said Nagato darkly. "So that means that those two bands have no reason to want the members of Storm of Fire dead. That rules them out."
"But…" Konan muttered, looking rather uneasy. "Those kids…those from Maelstrom…they're kind of strange. They give me a funny feeling whenever I'm around them."
"By the way…" said Sasori, looking around. "Where is Itachi?"
Music RoomTwilight Isle
The fleeting tunes of a piano could be heard coming from the music room, and if anyone even bothered to look inside, they would have seen Uchiha Itachi playing the piano with Namikaze Shiki sitting beside him on the piano seat, listening to him play.
Itachi finally ended the final tunes with a sigh, and Shiki smiled, clapping a little. "That was excellent," she said. "Is there anything that you can't do?"
Itachi grinned. "Many," he said, and Shiki laughed. "Seriously though, I didn't expect to see you here. And I never knew that you had a band."
Shiki laughed. "It's a last minute one actually," she said. "The original band was…taken ill, and their manager has to find a last minute band as a replacement and asked me and my friends since we did some street music performances a few years back, and he is the one who had actually trained us."
It wasn't a complete lie as Jiraiya was the one who had taught them music, and the Toad Hermit did give them a hand in gaining access to this camp as he knew the owner of the theatre group.
"I see," said Itachi with a nod. "Good for you then."
"Well, I have to go," said Itachi with a sigh. "My friends will be searching for me. There is a rehearsal later, right?" Shiki nodded, and Itachi grinned. "I'll look forward to your band's rehearsal."
Shiki smiled. "Go easy on us," she said, and Itachi smiled and nodded before leaving the music room. Shiki then sighed and turned back towards the piano before letting her fingers strum over the piano keys.
Shiki had always loved the piano better than any other instrument for some reason. The music of Flora's Secret then started to strum out. All of the songs that they knew were actually original music, being written by Haku herself who is their songwriter of sorts. But it is this particular song which is the first and only one that is written by Shiki herself. Even Haku was impressed with the emotion and feelings of the song and said that she couldn't write a better one herself.
Shiki was shaken from her current task when a voice spoke up from behind her.
"That's the song that you've written for him, isn't it?"
Shiki missed a note and she turned to see Gaara standing behind her, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. He then sighed and looked at Shiki. "When I told you all those months ago to break it off with him, I didn't mean getting closer with him! What were you thinking?!" He sighed and shook his head. "No, I don't even have to ask. You weren't even thinking at all. And don't you think that you're being a little too attached to him, Shiki? He's the ANBU Captain! One of our enemies!"
"I know that," said Shiki quietly. "I know."
Gaara sighed. "Then do something quickly before it escalates out of control," he said sharply. "As of now, Neji and I are the only ones who knew about him. Though I think that Shino suspects it as well. It wouldn't take long before the others know. And I don't think that I have to tell you that they would take a more aggressive approach in that. Especially Temari and Yugito."
Shiki said nothing but stared at the tribal-like bracelet that Itachi had given her, fingering it every now and then.
Is love…really so wrong?
Theatre HallTwilight Isle
Kinkonkane ga natte hajimaru mainichiKankontanoshikutte koneko mo korogari
Iyagaueni mo takanaru muneMohaya tomerare hashinai no desu
Chottookurechatte aseru mo mata yoshiCHATTOkakasazu ni komame ni RISAACHI
Kyou mo megane ga KUURU desu neTSUIN TEERU ga niaimasu nekiai iremasho minna RAIBARUMakerarenai!
Nee oshiete!watashi no shiranai kotoNee kikasete!anata no yaritai koto
Dondonagaru TENSHON todomaru kotonashiJanjanatsuku SESSHON enchou yamunashi
Sakadateta kami HOTTO desu neZettai ryouiki yabai desu neMisete agemasho kore zo kirifudaMotto soba de!
Nee kanaete!ima yori hajiketa miraiNee mitsukete!koko yori tanoshii sekai
Nee doushiteanata wa hane ga aru no?Nee doushitewatashi wa me wo sorasu no?
Neekonna ni dokidoki suru no hana ze?Neekonna ni sukida yonee-ttara nee!
Ishigaya, the owner of the theatre group was nodding, impressed, along with nearly everyone else as they listened to Maelstrom give their performance. Each band has to perform three songs, and that is only their first. All of the bands have been really good so far, save for Storm of Fire.
There was a short break for five minutes as the members tuned their instruments before Ishigaya gave his nod to commence their next song. And Itachi hadn't taken his eyes off the band even when Kisame had asked him a question. Or more specifically, he hadn't taken his eyes off Shiki.
Who can saywhere the road goeswhere the day flowsonly time
And who can sayif your love growsas your heart choseonly time
Who can saywhy your heart sighsas your love fliesonly time
And who can saywhy your heart crieswhen your love liesonly time
Who can saywhen the roads meetthat love might bein your heart
And who can saywhen the day sleepsif the night keepsall your heart
Night keeps all your heart
Who can sayif your love growsas your heart choseonly time
And who can saywhere the road goeswhere the day flowsonly time
Who knows…only timeWho knows…only time
"Very good," said Ishigaya, clapping, along with everyone else as they finished the song. "But the three of you need to further work on your synchronisation as your singing is a little…off-tune." He looked at Shiki, Hinata and Haku who nodded. "And the keyboardist is going a little too fast, thus making the song a little out of tune. Those are little problems which can be easily amended. Let's hear your last song."
Shiki nodded. "Yes sir."
Let me sail, let me sail, let the Orinoco flowLet me reach, let me beach on the shores of TripoliLet me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shoreLet me reach, let me beach far beyond the Yellow Sea
De de de de de de…Sail away…
From Bissau to Palau in the shade of AvalonFrom Fiji to Tiree and the isles of EbonyFrom Peru to Cebu, feel the power of BabylonFrom Bali to Cali, far beneath the Coral Sea
De de de de de…Turn it up…Adieu, oohSail away…
From the North to the South, Ebudae unto KhartoumFrom the deep Sea of Clouds to the Island of the MoonCarry me on the waves to the lands I've never beenCarry me on the waves to the lands I've never seen
We can sail, with the Orinoco flowWe can sail, we can sailWe can steer, we can near with Rob Dickins at the wheelWe can sigh, say good-bye Ross and his dependenciesWe can sailWe can sail away
We can reach, we can beach on the shores of TripoliWe can sail, we can sailFrom Bali to Cali, far beneath the Coral SeaWe can sail, we can sail
From Bissau to Palau in the shade of AvalonWe can sailWe can sail away
We can reach, we can beach far beyond the Yellow SeaWe can sailWe can sail away
From Peru to Cebu, feel the power of BabylonWe can sailWe can sail away
We can sailWe can sail away
Shiki, Hinata and Haku were all pretty breathless by the time Shino and Tenten ended the final tunes of the song with their keyboard and xylophone respectively, especially since the song is a pretty fast paced one. Honestly! What is Haku thinking when she wrote this?
"Very good," said Ishigaya, clapping with a smile on his face. "Keep up the work. And next up is…" He referred to his clipboard. "Firefly. The last rehearsal for the day. Then we can finally call it a day."
Deidara grinned as he practically bounced up the steps to the stage, carrying his electric guitar with him whilst his band-mates carried their instruments up the steps that led to the stage, all of them grinning at Deidara's enthusiasm. They all knew that Deidara liked showing off, and he loves music more than anything else. And yet again, it is a mystery as to why Deidara is still with the ANBU and didn't go full time into the music business like the rest of his band.
The first two songs were excellent, though Ishigaya commented that Deidara played his guitar so loudly that he could barely hear the singing of their lead singer, let alone the drums and keyboard of the other two of his band. The final song is one that everyone present is familiar with as it is that particular song that shot Firefly to fame.
Tojikaketa hitomi niitsuwari wo utsushiteKaramiau sadame waayamachi ni yakarete
Me wo fuse inori wo sasagerufukaku aoki yami no naka deHizamazuku mono no nigirishimeta te nikizamareta shirushi no you ni
Magakami no itetsuku hitomi yochi no namida wa kawaku kotonakuYo wo daki hi wo ooihirakareta hatenaki agito
Hirugaeru osanaki haoto yofuki yuku kaze no na wo tsutsundeKanata eto hakobi yukutodokanu inori to shitte mo
Soredemo hito wa uta darouaragau inochi no sakebi woMatataita yaiba no kiseki yochi no ishi wa taeru kotonaku
Yo wo egaki hi wo toraesashitsuranuku kaki no hi no yaIro aseta furuki koto no ha yosugisarishi toki wo kuri tata ne
Tokoshie ni tsutae yukukanawanu chigiri to natte moSoredemo hito wa egaku daroutsuienu inochi no homura wo
The crowd was nearly going crazy, though everyone was surprised when Deidara's guitar caught fire halfway through the song, and he had to practically pull the strap of his guitar over his head and tried to put the fire out. His band-mates looked surprised as well, though they didn't stop performing. And the poor keyboardist has to play his part EXTREMELY loudly during the parts where Deidara is supposed to play his guitar.
"That was great!" Kisame exclaimed with his mouth full of food later that night, splattering food everywhere, much to his teammates' disgust, particularly Nagato who happened to be sitting right in front of him. "All of them are! Especially Deidara's band! And was that fire thing part of the play? If it was, it's great!"
Itachi rolled his eyes and stood up. "I'm going to go and find Dei," he said. "I have to ask him something."
His friends all nodded before Itachi headed towards the changing room of the stage where Deidara's band is. Itachi was deep in thought as he frowned, thinking about the events of the rehearsal. Sasori had recorded the entire rehearsal down on tape, and thus, he could always borrow it to view the rehearsal again, but he is fairly sure of one thing.
'I highly doubt that the guitar on fire thingy is part of the performance,' thought Itachi. 'Dei looks a little too surprised when it happened.'
The blonde bomber's angry voice reached Itachi's ears even before he entered the changing room when he stepped into the theatre hall, and the Uchiha raised an eyebrow. It is rare to see Deidara so angry and worked up.
"What was that back there?!" said Deidara's angry voice. "I play new rock, not Great Balls of Fire!"
"Calm down, Deidara," said the lead singer of his band, Miko tiredly. The girl was sitting on one of the dressing room tables as the keyboardist, Juno is examining Deidara's burned guitar carefully with Seto, the drummer watching over his shoulder. "Besides, you have your backup guitar, don't you?"
"That's not the point here!" said Deidara angrily before he noticed Itachi. "Oh? Itachi? What are you doing here?"
Itachi sighed. "Am I safe to assume that the guitar-on-fire thingy isn't part of the performance?" he stated more than asked, and Deidara twitched.
"Itachi, if I burn a guitar at every performance that I go to, I'll go broke even with my salary from my services as an ANBU!" said Deidara sarcastically. "And speaking of fire, I have a good mind to fire whoever was responsible for that back there!"
Itachi winced. 'Ouch. He sounds upset. But it's strange though.' Itachi thought as he glanced at Seto and Juno who were both examining Deidara's guitar whilst Miko is trying unsuccessfully to calm down an angry Deidara. 'Why would his guitar catch on fire for no apparent reason?'
Gaara and Neji's RoomDormitory Building
"Heat enhancer?" Temari echoed as the rest of Ragnarok sat in couches and chairs in the room that Gaara and Neji shared.
Neji nodded grimly. "I got that Juno guy to let me take a look at the guitar. I saw broken fragments of glass that I instantly recognised as heat enhancer glass fragments," he said. "Heat enhancers absorb heat, and when the temperature gets hot enough, it bursts into flame. It is usually used to destroy stuff that couldn't be destroyed by usual means as the flame is unbelievably hot. The lights that lit up the stage set the heat enhancers into action. That Deidara guy is lucky that he managed to get his guitar off his person before the flames torched him, otherwise, he'll be a goner."
"But…" Haku frowned. "That Deidara guy is an ANBU, isn't it? Why would Iesugawa target him if it is him in the first place?"
Neji sighed. "Iesugawa targeted the wrong guitar," he said simply. "Deidara loaned his guitar to that Ishigawa guitarist in the Storm of Fire band. Something about wanting to test a new song to see how it sounds like on another electric guitar. Then Ishigawa forgot to return the guitar to Deidara right until just before the rehearsal. Iesugawa's target…right from the start…it is Ishigawa Keiji."
Temari frowned. "Ishigawa?" he mused. "Any relation to the Ishigawa Keiko girl that died a few months back?"
"Her cousin." Gaara supplied. He then sighed. "But it looks like Shiki's concerns aren't that unfounded after all. Iesugawa is really desperate enough to resort to murder now. By his own hands if necessary."
Everyone was silent.
"And speaking of Shiki…" Kankuro mused, glancing around. "Where is she?"
Neji and Gaara exchanged glances which went unnoticed by all but Hinata, Haku, Shino and Yugito.
"Deidara is hopping mad." Itachi said with a chuckle later that night when he sat on one of the tree branches of a tree with Shiki. "I've never seen him so angry before. And then again, this is his guitar that we're talking about after all."
Shiki said nothing. Neji had told her earlier about his findings and she was concerned. No matter what, they have to find a way to stop Iesugawa now. He had allowed his hatred to take control of him. No one can see clearly when they have a mist or a cloud covering their minds.
True, those two whom Iesugawa hated might not be so innocent, and Shiki agrees that they should be punished for this, but they definitely shouldn't die for this. There is quite a clear line between pure vengeance and injustice. And Shiki draws a line at unnecessary killing.
Shiki looked up only to feel the first drops of rain falling lightly onto her, and she sighed, jumping off the tree branch. "It's about to rain," she said. "We should head back."
Itachi grabbed her hand before she can run off, and Shiki turned towards Itachi. There is an unreadable expression on his face. And Shiki thinks that she knew the reason why as well. For lack of a better word, she has been awfully…distant with Itachi recently. And the guy, being as sharp as he is can see it as well.
The entire reason not only because of the feud between the ANBU and Ragnarok. Because Shiki herself felt guilty as well. She knew that her friendship with Itachi is about the only thing that kept him sane from everything that he has been doing in the ANBU, but if he ever found out about her 'other life', there is no telling what may happen.
It is like being with Itachi like this is like a poison. Even Gaara had said it. If this drags on for much longer, both of them will end up getting hurt. Shiki isn't stupid. She knew that she likes Itachi in the romantic sense as more than just friends. But unfortunately, this is life.
"You've been awfully distant with me lately, Shiki," said Itachi quietly, looking at her with those expressive eyes. "And I want to know why. What did I do to you? If it is anything that I did, then please give me the chance to amend it. Your friendship means everything to me. You know that."
Shiki was quiet. "It isn't anything that you've done," she said at last. The rain was coming down lightly. This conversation is long coming. Shiki knew that. She knew that Itachi will voice it out sooner or later. "It is just…me. Just me. The problem lies with me." She took a deep breath in, recalling what Gaara had said months ago.
Both our paths oppose each other. Break it off with him before you fall into it even further and before both of you get hurt.
Shiki closed her eyes briefly before opening them again to meet Itachi's expecting eyes. 'It is easier said than done, Gaara. I should have listened to you back then. Then maybe…it wouldn't be so hard right now.'
"Let go," said Shiki firmly, relieved that her voice didn't manage to betray her emotions. "Itachi, let go. Let me go."
Itachi knew Shiki well enough to know that she meant something else entirely when she said 'let me go'. He shook his head, not releasing his hold on Shiki at all. "I won't," he said. "I won't let you run from me." He took a deep breath in. "I was a fool. I thought that I can ignore it. But Fate decided otherwise. I knew…ever since that time at the beach…I knew that I carried feelings for you. But I tried to ignore it as I didn't want to lose our friendship."
Shiki was silent as she listened to Itachi speak. One part of her is screaming at her to run away whilst another part is telling her to listen to Itachi, even though she knew that she might regret that decision.
"Please Shiki. Don't run from me."
Itachi pushed Shiki back against the tree trunk and kissed her deeply before she can even protest. And despite what her mind is telling her, her body responded otherwise by tangling her fingers into his ebony hair and pulling her body closer to him. Itachi's lips parted Shiki's, and moved against them.
Itachi pulled back a little and looked straight into Shiki's eyes. The rain was pelting down strongly by now, but neither one of them cared. "Don't run from me," he said before he pulled Shiki close to his body.
Shiki closed her eyes and rested her face against Itachi's chest, wrapping her arms lightly around his torso. 'I'm tired,' she thought. 'Just once…just let us stay like this… Just once…'
Lightning flashed across the dark sky.
Gaara and Neji's RoomDormitory Building
Neji walked up to the window of the room that he shared with Gaara, a towel draped around his neck, looking out of the windows, trying to make out what he could in this crazy weather. He heard light footsteps behind him before Gaara stepped up next to him, looking out of the window as well.
Neji turned towards his friend only to see Gaara close his eyes sombrely, an unreadable expression on his face as he made a clenching motion with his right hand before opening the palm of his right hand only to reveal his sand eye before it dispersed into thin air. The redhead then glanced at Neji before looking out of the window.
Neji sighed as he understood Gaara well enough to know what he must have just seen. "It's Shiki, isn't it?" he stated more than asked. Gaara sighed and nodded. "Give her some time. We owed her everything that we have today. We at least owe her this much."
Gaara nodded. "I'm just afraid that the time isn't enough," he said. "And that Shiki will find it even harder to break it off with him." He sighed. "I have no objections if she found someone. But why must that 'someone' be our enemy?!" He rammed a fist into the window-sill, a frustrated and angry expression on his face. "It's just not fair! Why must he be an ANBU?! And not just any ANBU, but the captain of their best team?!"
Neji said nothing, agreeing with Gaara.
Life is never fair.
A/N: A pretty long chapter this time around. For those wanting some Itachi/Shiki fluff, I hope that you are happy, but I do not want to rush into their relationship, and thus, these things have to be taken slowly. I mean, this is a forbidden relationship that we're talking about after all. What do you expect?
I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review!
Preview of next chapter:
"It's game over."
"You people are…! Ragnarok!"
"In the end, we couldn't do anything to stop them, can we?"
"You're nothing but a murderer!"