“Naruto, open up! Please, open the door already!” I beat on my friend’s door, glancing behind me every few seconds to see that I wasn’t being followed. I had a letter balled into my fist so hard that my knuckles were turning white. I was panting from running through the whole town of Konoha just to get her, and now Naruto won’t even let me in.
“Wait, I’m coming, just chill out!” the blond opened the door and I pushed him out of the way to get in in a hurry. “Jeez, what’s the rush?” He closed the door behind me and patted my back as I regained my breath. All I did was shove the balled up paper into his palm. He opened it up and read.
“My little gift, I’ve been watching you, my dear. You’re growing into a fine woman. It’s about time I pay a visit. I’m coming for you, Miya. See you soon… Your Loving Father.” I didn’t look at Naruto’s face, only stared at the wooden floor, trying to sink myself into its cracks. I breathed in and out slowly and evenly.
“I have to go, Naruto. I have to go now before it’s too late.” I exhaled calmly.
“You don’t have to leave, Miya. I will look after you! Stay here with me! That bastard won’t get close to you, I swear it.” I shook my head, grateful for the offer but knowing I could never let Naruto risk his life for me.
“I’m sorry but if I don’t go now, he will find me and he will kill anyone in the way of getting me.”
“Where do you plan to go then?” He crumples the paper up again and shoves it into his pocket.
“My only option is to find the only people that could possibly protect me from him….”
“No, Miya. It’s crazy. The Akatsuki are evil. Just because they protected you when you were little doesn’t mean they will now. They’ll kill you on sight!” He rubs my arm because I am shaking now with fear. The memory of my father, the blood all over his shirt, my mother’s blood, came back to me. The look in his eyes as he walked towards me with that kunai in his hand still burns in my mind.
“I’m going to die either way then, I just might have a better chance against the Akatsuki. I need to go Naruto, so please don’t make a fuss.” I held his hand for a moment and gave him a reassuring smile. “I’ll be ok, Naruto.” He pulled me into a big bear hug and I could hear him sniffling behind my back.
I slowly but firmly pulled away from him and gathered the stuff that I’d hurriedly thrown together before coming here. He watched me with teary eyes.
“You’ve been the greatest friend I could have asked for all these years. Even if everyone else hated me, you were there. Thank you for that, Uzumaki. Maybe we’ll meet again.” I kissed his cheek and turned on my heel to jump out his bedroom window in the back of the apartment.
“See you around, Miya!” He shouted bravely after I hopped out onto the rooftop. I bowed my head and began to flee from my hometown, from my nightmare.
I didn’t know where I was going. I had no idea where to even start, but I had to go somewhere. I ran south of the village. I knew my father went somewhere north and hopefully that’s where he still was.
I travelled for days, snacking on the trail mixes I brought with me. I rationed my bottles of water because I had no idea how long I’d be looking. Anytime I neared people on the travelling roads, I would duck under bushes or in trees. I tried to stay away from the roads but close enough to still know where I was in the forest.
I’d been roaming for almost two weeks when my food and water completely ran out and I started to feel the fear again. My father would surely track me, and if he didn’t, I could very well die out here on my own. Or maybe if I did find the Akatsuki, they’d very possibly kill me too.
At the end of the second week, a full two days without water, I blindly crashed into a river and fell to my knees to drink thirstily from the pooling water. I didn’t even notice the two black cloaked figures in the shadows of a nearby cave.
When I finished drinking and splashing my overheated face, I finally looked up and the cloaked figures were in front of me with weapons pointed straight at my chest.
“Stand up.” They commanded. I did as they said and wiped my face clear so I could get a good look at them. Their cloaks had red and white clouds printed across the black fabric. The Akatsuki!
“Looks like we have a visitor, Hidan. What do we do with visitors?” The man speaking was Kisame, I remembered from my extensive reading of the group.
“Wait! Don’t kill me! I’m seeking protection, please! I need to see your leader because he might remember me,” their weapons were raising higher as I spoke, not caring what my story was. “Please let me speak to Pein-sama!” I huddled down towards my knees as their weapons struck down but stopped just before hitting me.
“How do you know our Leader’s name, wench?” Hidan pointed his scythe at my neck and I gulped, my eyes widening. I was no ninja, so there was no way of me defending myself against these men. I could heal wounds, but not my own.
“I-I heard someone say it when I met him last, a very long time ago!” I winced as the blade caught my skin and just barely cut it. The two men looked at each other unsurely.
“Should we bring her to Leader?”
“What if the bitch just tries to kill him?”
“Well we can’t just kill her if she ends up being an acquaintance of his…” They both turned back to me.
“Right, pull any funny business and we slit your throat right on the spot. Got that?” Hidan removed his blade from my neck and I breathed once more.
They brought me through to the cave behind a waterfall and deep into the shadows. A hologram appeared and soon after a doorway opened up. I was pushed forward by Kisame and lead through a large hallway to the door at the very end.
“After you, wench.” Hidan knocked on the door politely and tugged me in by my arm. He forced me to bow before their leader, who I still was not able to see properly.
“I am told that I supposedly know you?” I heard his voice and instant relief flooded through me. It was still the same man that I’d met when I was a young girl.
“Y-You saved me from a man, my father, trying to kill me with a kunai in the forest just outside of Konoha. It was a long time ago… b-but I came here to thank you,” I gulped the spit collecting in my mouth and tried not to sound as afraid as I still was/
“I remember. You’ve thanked me, now what? We can’t just let you leave now. You know where we reside.” I was able to shift my gaze from the floor to the man behind the desk, currently speaking to me.
“I was hoping you could help me. He’s still alive and you were the only one able to overpower him. Will you allow me to stay here in protection of your group?” I bit my lip, just waiting for my head to be sliced clean off, seeing as Hidan was standing just behind me holding my head down towards the ground with the blade aimed at the back of my neck.
“And what will we get for repayment?” I knew that question would be asked and I was prepared for an answer.
“In my bag- I have all of my inheritance that my father is trying to get. It’s more than enough to pay each and every one of you for your deeds.” All that money was enough to keep a full town from financial debt. My mother had been the daughter of the most important man, other than the Hokage himself, in Konoha. When he died, my mother received all of it. When she died, it was passed down to me. I had no need of it anymore.
The blade slipped from the back of my neck and I could feel my bag being yanked from my shoulder. The two men behind me were trying to count but getting confused.
“Bring it to Kakuzu. He’s the man for money. But watch him, so that he doesn’t sneak some away like last time.” Hidan mumbled to Kisame and I could hear the door opening and closing behind me.
“Very well. And I suppose you want us to track this man down and kill him, as well as you staying here.” The leader stood from his chair and walked towards me. I could compose myself now that Hidan was preoccupied thinking of all the money he’d be getting. The leader grabbed my chin and turned my head side to side. “I do remember your face. Such a small girl, so innocent. You understand the pain of life.” I don’t pull away. I’m enraptured by his eyes. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop staring at him. He doesn’t remove his unemotional gaze from me.
“Yes. Yes, I am asking you to kill my father. And if the money is not enough, I am a medical ninja, so I can be of service to you in that way.”
“You can be of service in more than that, too, wench,” Hidan laughed then started coughing at the look he’d received from his leader.
“I might take you up on that. It seems that our meeting is over. I just need you to sign some official contracts. Hidan, you may leave now.” Pein walked back towards his desk and offered a seat from the corner that he pulled up to the other side of the desk for me.
“Just sign these here.” I shook my head to clear my murky thoughts and signed the papers before me.
When I was finished, I was given the robes of the Akatsuki. I turned to walk out the door but Pein called out to me.
“What is your name, miss?”
“Miya Bachiko, Leader Pein.” I removed myself from the room before he could ask how I knew of his name.
I had my own room to stay in and I was given my own training clothes. Everything was set up perfectly for me, like I really was part of the Akatsuki. And in the weeks that passed I felt like I really belonged, despite that small fact that I was not evil while being surrounded by S-Class criminals.
“Miya, it’s your turn to cook dinner!” Hidan was lounging on the couch, flicking through a dirty book. I tsked and snatched the book off him before going to make dinner as told.
“How can you read rubbish like this? ‘She thrust her body against his as he passionately drove himself…’ ugh, gross!” Hidan jumped up off the couch and tackled me to the ground to get his book back. “Here take it! It’s disgusting trash anyway!” he got the book back and tucked it into his shirt so I wouldn’t go taking it off him again.
“Well, what do you expect when I’m in a group full of damn men and a little under-aged girl? Sheesh.” His blush said it all though, and I just laughed at him, making it obvious that I was happy for his embarrassment.
“Children, get along.” The leader strode into the room and all conversation ended immediately. Since when did Pein join the rest of the group, outside of his office?
“Y-yes sir.” Hidan murmured nervously.
“Lighten up, I’m just here for the food.” I couldn’t help cackling harder at Hidan’s further humiliation. I caught Pein chuckling and glancing in my direction. I blinked, surprised.
“Well since Hidan is so obviously into his book, shall I make you dinner as well, Leader Pein?” I offered politely while beginning to boil some rice and chop vegetables.
“That would be nice, Miya. Thank you.” He was closer than I expected, just behind me actually. I quickly spun around to see he was helping by putting rice into the machine but he was making more of a mess than anything.
“Here, I’ll help.” I took the mush of rice from his hands and tossed it around until it was a ball and pushed it easily into a slot. He watched with fascination. A gleeful smile broke out across my face to catch our merciless leader at something he knew nothing about. He actually looked very curious to learn how to cook!
“Do you want to cut some peppers for me?” I asked him quietly, giving him a small wink. He nodded formally and I chucked a knife into his hand. He caught it by reflex and began to decimate the poor pepper on the table.
“Wait, hold on. You don’t stab it like you would a person…” I laughed at my own stupid joke. I took the knife from him and showed him how to neatly and evenly chop a pepper. He tried his hand at the onion. “That’s better. Less stabbing, more chopping.” I could see him hiding the smile creeping into the corners of his lips. I leaned very close to him, so that no one else could possibly hear me. “It’s ok for even leaders of evil organizations to smile sometimes.”
“I’m beginning to agree, Miya.” He whispered back and resumed chopping onions. I could feel my chest lighten and the giggles were creeping up into my throat fast. I felt like a little girl again, having innocent fun with a friend.
Dinner was served and amazingly everyone in the organization sat down at the table together to eat.
“My cooking must be damn good to get you all out here!” There were grunts and ‘yeah’s but they were all too busy stuffing their faces to really answer. Even Pein was sitting with us, at the head of the table of course. I was at the other end, glancing up at him every now and then.
“Dessert?” Kisame asked through a full mouth, and the others looked up curiously.
“Actually yes. I cut watermelon slices for everyone. Help yourself!” They all crowded into the kitchen, hoping to get a piece before it was all gone. The next hour consisted of the Akatsuki spitting seeds at each other from across the table.
The months passed and my familiarity with the Akatsuki grew to real friendship, for I was the peacekeeper and on rare occasions the troublemaker too. I became the official cook and Pein joined us every evening for dinner and I forced everyone to sit down afterwards and play board games or games like charades and such. They call me the big kid, but everyone secretly has a kid still inside, it’s just a matter of bringing it out and having fun for once.
What made me the happiest was that for the first time since my father slaughtered my mother, I had friends, true friends, other than Naruto of course. I never felt this happy before. I didn’t want to leave anymore. Pein had sent groups to search for my dad on occasion but there’s been no spotting. I worried that they would find him soon and I’d have to leave.
“What are you thinking?” A quiet voice spoke from behind me. I had been gazing into the sitting room as I leaned on the counter in the kitchen.
“I was thinking about my father.” I shrugged about to walk towards the corner cabinets to start dinner.
“Are you afraid?” Pein steps in front of me so that I have no choice but to face him. I nod silently.
“I watched both my parents die. But you had to see one of your parents die by the hand of the other. That is true pain. I admire you for that. Yet, I’m afraid now… I don’t want to leave you. I’ve grown fond of your happiness. Stay here with us.” He stands tall and formally as always, looking straight into my eyes for an answer.
“You mean stay here with you.” I correct directly with a cheeky grin. I can tell that sets him off balance a little, his composure falls slightly.
“Yes, I suppose I mean that too.” He coughs and crosses his arms in front of him, trying to act as if he were about the reprimand me for my boldness.
“Ok,” I giggle and stand on my tiptoes to kiss his cheek.
“Yes.” He gives me a genuine smile and leans rigidly down to kiss my cheek back but I turn my face to kiss him instead. His rigidness dissolves as our lips collide and he visibly loosens up in front of me. He kisses me back softly. It’s so sweet that I can feel my knees melting into goo.
“We found your dad, Miya- Oh…” Pein pulled away abruptly and stood straight backed like his normal self. His face went rather pink though, and so did mine. Hidan stopped in the middle of the sitting room, a bloody bag tied around his belt. I can only guess that’s part of my father’s body, or part of Hidan, since he’s known for having to sew bits and pieces back onto himself.
“Aw, dammit, Leader, and I wasn’t hitting that because she was too young! You pervert!” Hidan joked, to make light of the situation. Pein walked stiffly away back to his office, without a single word. I glared at Hidan and threw an apple that hits him square in the forehead.
“Asshole.” I grumbled, following behind Pein.
“And here I thought my books were gross and icky to you! You might need them now!” Hidan called after me tauntingly.
“SHUT UP!” I scream, running straight into the office and laughing as I close the door behind me. Pein hasn’t walked to his desk, he’s still just beside the door so I bump straight into him. He grabs me and pulls me into another heart melting kiss, continuing where we’d left off in the kitchen.
“He might actually be right about those books,” I could hear Pein mumble as he kisses me again and again. I giggle and push him away.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself. Just because we’re living together doesn’t mean you can have everything you want when you want it.”
“But I’m your leader,” He growls, trying to come back to me. I shake my finger at him.
“When we’re together, I have a say too. And I say… it’s time for me to go and cook dinner!” I turn and flee from Pein in a fit of giggles. He stands in the doorway and watches me go, that smile crossing his lips once more.
© Copyright 2016 Miss Storybook Dreamer. All rights reserved.
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