Status: Check back on June 23rd 2014 for the second chapter!


03 - Akatsuki

The shark ninja identified himself as Kisame Hoshigake from Kirigakure. I was aware of his crimes as well as the Uchiha's. If they really wanted to kill me for the bounty, they would have done it already. There must have been a damn good reason they would travel all the way to Kiawa from the mainland simply to talk to me.

My house was a little less homey than Reiki's. It was a small, simple one-bedroom with the kitchen connected to the living room. There were plenty of surfboards and jars filled with dead marine organisms scattered everywhere. Some of the jars contained small deceased sharks that seemed to disturb Kisame. I felt like they were slightly uncomfortable in my lack of clothing, so I changed into a light turquoise beach dress to lounge in as we talked. The feeling of drying off and relaxing after a hot day on the beach was so refreshing that it masked the sense of urgency from having two extremely dangerous criminals sitting in my house.

Prior to our conversation, I offered both of them drinks. Itachi accepted an iced tea, but Kisame declined.

"Is the bounty the same for my sister?" I started.

"There isn't a bounty on her head that we know of," Itachi answered.

"There's a bounty on me, but not Nini?" I was a little surprised to learn that there wasn't a bounty on Hanini. Even though I was the one accused of the murders, she was still a highly dangerous kunoichi with a rich background. The bounty must have come from a mission that I was assigned to without Hanini. I gave him a fake smile and continued, "That's kind of strange. But anyway, I'm sure you two didn't come all this way just to inform me that someone wants me dead."

"You're correct, Kaikea-san," replied Kisame. "Itachi, I believe you'd be more suited to inform her why we're here."

Itachi did all of the explaining. He told me about an organization known as the Akatsuki that was comprised mostly of S-ranking criminals and rogue ninja like himself and Kisame. The Akatsuki were collecting biju from jinchuriki, and they also accepted missions to raise money towards a goal that Itachi wouldn't explain to me. They found out about me through one of their members named Kakuzu, and they were here to recruit me for their organization. "We understand that you work very well with your sister," he added. "You were known as the 'perfect team' in Kumogakure. Rather than allowing Kakuzu to have your head, we thought that you two might be worth more than your bounty." I gave him a smug grin in response.

Itachi also mentioned that I would be too much of a liability if I refused them, and that they would be forced to take my head for the bounty. I really didn't have a choice since I couldn't fight the two of them alone. "You're right, Itachi. My sister and I are both worth much more than that bounty," I commented. "But I'll accept. Though, I would advise against recruiting my sister. You haven't talked to her yet, have you? I'm sure she was aware of your presence while you were spying on her, Hoshigake-san."

"Why shouldn't we recruit her?" asked Kisame.

"I don't know how much you two know about her personality, but she'll slack off on missions and leak information. She won't function properly if her boyfriend is killed or if she's separated from him because she's very sensitive and gets lonely easily. You'd put the Akatsuki in danger. Then, you would be forced to kill her, which will result in a huge waste of your time. She's much more of a liability than I would be if I refused your offer."

"What do you suggest, then?" Kisame implied. "Our orders were to recruit both of you."

I replied, "You must not have been too confident in her, otherwise you wouldn't have come to me first." I must've been right because all he did was huff at me. "So why did you two come to me first? Why didn't you use her boyfriend to manipulate her into joining your organization? It would've been too easy."

Itachi answered my question for Kisame, "It's as you said, Indira. Her attachment to this man could be very troublesome later on. We thought you might be able to advise us on how to handle her situation."

"It will be troublesome later on, Itachi," I answered. "And now you know what my advice is. I'm telling you to leave her alone. She has an attachment and she probably hasn't kept up with her training like I have. She won't fight as well as she used to. Whereas, I've had nothing to do but train and surf since I left Kumo, and I have no attachments. I mean, I have Reiki, but I don't have feelings for him that would hinder my ability to complete missions."

"Are you trying to protect your sister?" Itachi asked.

Kisame added before I could reply, "Yeah, I thought you two hadn't even spoken to each other for two years."

"If she wants to join a criminal organization, that's her business. She's perfectly capable of handling herself. I'm simply giving you my honest opinion of what you should do about her for your benefit. Save your energy for something more important."

"And, what about you? Are you capable of serving the Akatsuki without your sister beside you?" Kisame questioned my ability to perform without Hanini.

"You two wouldn't be here if I couldn't," I answered with another smug expression.

"Then prove it," Kisame ordered as he reached for his sword. "I wanted to test your abilities for myself anyway."

"Not in my house!" I yelled as he let out a small chuckle. I had no choice but to reluctantly accept his challenge. "Fine! But, if I win, the Akatsuki is not to bother Nini. Do you understand?"

His response came in the form of a grin followed by, "What do you say, Itachi? It seems like a fair bargain, don't you think?"

Itachi sighed before answering him, "Alright, Kisame. Just don't get carried away. We need to get back as soon as possible."

We ended up back on the same beach where we originally met. Kisame shed his cloak in the heat of the late afternoon sun, revealing large gills on his shoulders and a very muscular bare chest that slightly intimidated me. Even though I kept up with my training on Kiawa, it had been over a year since I last faced an opponent in a real battle. My only weapons were wire and some poisons that I hadn't tested out yet. At least if my poisons killed him that would mean one less person to worry about. I was barely dressed for our fight, too. I threw on some shorts under my dress and the only shoes I owned that I could wear in a fight were old thong sandals that wouldn't survive long.

Itachi took cover under the shade of a large palm tree near the tree line as I faced Kisame in the sand. I stood with my hands on my waist and my shoulders back to mask my intimidation, studying him as best as I could. He was relaxed, resting his sword in the sand, obviously in his comfort zone. I assumed his attacks were just as extravagant as the jutsu he used to coax me out of the water, and he could probably breathe underwater with his gills much longer than I could with my jutsu. I couldn't risk keeping him near the ocean even though he would undoubtedly try to get me into the water somehow.

"Shall we begin, Kaikea-san?" he threatened, lifting his sword to point it at me with such ease. He must've had at least tree times my strength, and his amount of chakra was like nothing I'd ever seen other than a jinchuriki.

"It's a little too late to be polite after you split my board in half. You might as well call me Indri." With that, I kicked my shoe off at him with as much force as I could.

He blocked it with his sword, laughing at me, "You picked a nice day to die if you were actually being serious." Swinging his sword at me, I kicked my other shoe at him while dodging his blast. I quickly weaved hand signs that produced water in the form of fish to fly out of my mouth. They swarmed around his head and sword, but then they stopped all of a sudden and fell down around him. I figured that he was using something that could disrupt chakra, either a special jutsu or a weapon, most likely his sword.

"I'm really disappointed. Itachi said you had something really special up your sleeves, but if this is the extent of your chakra, you'll certainly end up dead."

"Don't underestimate her, Kisame," Itachi warned him from the sidelines. "She's only feeling you out. She's a strategist. The longer she drags this out, the easier it'll be for her to defeat you."

"If you're gonna give him tips, you should help me, too!" I called to Itachi. If he responded, I didn't have time to listen. Kisame kept coming at me with his sword, and I kept dodging him. His brute force would have severely injured me if he had been able to keep up with me. Still, I was completely in defense until I found the perfect angle to aim for his wrist with my foot, knocking the sword from his hand. However, that left his hand free to grab onto my ankle.

I didn't allow him enough time to hurt me, though. I sent a powerful current of electricity through my ankle and into his body, which forced him to release me as fast as he had grabbed me. Neither of us were getting anywhere with simple close combat. When he started weaving hand signs, I noticed Itachi take off into the jungle to avoid Kisame's jutsu and I quickly followed.

Again, he couldn't quite keep up with my speed, allowing me to outrun a monstrous wave of summoned sharks that appeared out of the ocean. They were even able to move on land and through the jungle by falling on top of each other. They just kept coming and coming, knocking down as many trees as possible to catch up to me until the stronger trees stopped the sharks. I stopped in the middle of the jungle near the cliff to see where Kisame had gone, but I couldn't see him. He must have been following me still. "Stay back," I warned Itachi, who I stayed close to with the assumption that he knew how to handle his partner's excessive jutsu. He listened to me, taking shelter on the cliff high above the canopy of the trees.

Turning back to Kisame's direction, I produced a similar jutsu to the hidden mist jutsu. But, instead of using moister from the air, I used water from my own mouth. This made the range much smaller than the hidden mist jutsu, but it was plenty for what I had planned. I could hear him approaching my location, and finally he spoke, "I'll admit this is an impressive version of the hidden mist jutsu, but I'm afraid it's useless. You see, my sword, Samehada can sense your pathetic chakra hiding through the mist. You're really going to have to do better than that if you want to survive."

Sitting calmly in a large tree, I replied, "Who said I'm hiding from you?" Rather than responding, he came at me with his sword one more time and I dodged him by jumping up into the trees above the mist where a water clone was waiting for me with a water prison jutsu. I just changed into this dress, I would have yelled at him if I could. Blood from little scratches I acquired by running through the thorny vines in the jungle swirled around in me, staining my tourqoise dress. My dress was the second thing of mine that Kisame ruined.

"It's over," said the clone as the real Kisame came up behind me with his sword to weaken me by draining my chakra. "Itachi, shall I end it quickly for her, or should I just cut off a few limbs and leave her alive for Kakuzu?"

"Be careful, Kisame," he warned again, but it was too late. I shocked his clone using the water as a conductor, which canceled both jutsu, and I bolted deeper into the jungle. Kisame was able to catch up to me this time, though, since my breath and chakra were both depleted, but it wasn't very hard to dodge him. His moves became sloppy and he seemed to be out of breath as well.

"What's wrong? Can't keep up?" I teased him.

We both stopped for a second to catch our breath and he took the chance to ask, "How can your lightning-style jutsu be so powerful after I drained all of your chakra? You hardly had any to begin with."

"It's not lightning," I explained to him what I had to explain to many other people. "And it's not chakra at all." The smirk fell from his face and his brow furrowed at what I just told him. I noticed that he was also using his sword to balance while I recovered my breath so I could stand confidently with my hands on my hips again. "Feeling dizzy? You might want to forfeit before you pass out and your partner has to carry you back to my house."

"When did you poison me?" He clinched his abdomen in pain.

"The mist jutsu. I tainted the water from my mouth. It would've taken much longer for it to affect someone your size because of how diluted it was from the water, but thanks to your gills and the little scratches you got from the thorns in the jungle, it only took a couple minutes."

His smirk appeared back on his face to respond, "Well, Itachi was right. You are a dangerous little kunoichi."
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Check back on July 21st 2014 for the next chapter!